Yellen tells Congress to expect more rate hikes

Screen Shot 2017 07 12

Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Tuesday that she would want to assess the inflation process closely before making a determination on further interest rate hikes. AUD/CAD is down 0.9%, but naturally, it would be down more if it weren't for the AUD looking relatively strong with AUD/USD hitting a high of $0.7686 and completely overlooking the 2.1% fall in spot iron ore and 1.8% drop in iron ore futures. Central banks around the world have been hinting that the accommodative policies in place for years may no longer be needed amid signs that the global economy is gaining traction.

"It was all about whether we will have two more rate hikes this year and it seems like the Fed instead will be using the balance sheet rather than Fed-funds rates to normalize monetary policy", he said.

-Yellen will continue testifying Thursday.

Abu Dhabi-based Union National Bank on Wednesday said its second-quarter net profit rose nearly 7 percent, beating analysts' forecast.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.14 percent as of 10:20 a.m. HK/SIN.

Australia's financial index rose almost 1 percent though US counterparts, which tend to benefit from higher rates, were last among sectors, closing up 0.1 percent. The economy grew only 1.4 percent in the first quarter, while inflation remains below the 2 percent target.

More news: South Korean President Moon Jae-In calls for rare talks with North

Wall Street rose modestly on Thursday afternoon, helped by gains in financials ahead of profit reports from several big USA banks Friday.

South Korea climbed 1.1 percent to a record after its central bank kept policy super easy to support consumer spending.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.01% to 95.50.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 4 basis points to 2.319% as bond prices, which move inversely to yields, rose.

Energy companies advanced, tracking a rise in oil prices, which settled up 1% at $45.49 a barrel (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-extends-gains-after-upbeat-us-production-data-2017-07-12).

About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges. At the same time, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is said to have set a meeting for July 17.

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